7.4/10
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201 user 123 critic

Blow Out (1981)

Trailer
1:17 | Trailer
A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writer:

Brian De Palma
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Jack
Nancy Allen ... Sally
John Lithgow ... Burke
Dennis Franz ... Manny Karp
Peter Boyden Peter Boyden ... Sam
Curt May Curt May ... Donahue
John Aquino John Aquino ... Detective Mackey
John McMartin ... Lawrence Henry
Deborah Everton ... Hooker
J. Patrick McNamara ... Detective at Hospital
Missy Cleveland Missy Cleveland ... Coed Lover (as Amanda Cleveland)
Roger Wilson ... Coed Lover
Lori-Nan Engler Lori-Nan Engler ... Sue
Cindy Manion Cindy Manion ... Dancing Coed
Missy Crutchfield Missy Crutchfield ... Dancing Coed (as Missy O'Shea)
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Storyline

This stylish Brian De Palma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack Terry is a master audio technician who makes his living by recording unique sounds for grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder has a sound all of its own! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fourth and final film Nancy Allen made with her ex-husband, Brian De Palma, preceded by Carrie (1976), Home Movies (1979) and Dressed to Kill (1980). She is killed in two of them, and dreams she is murdered in a third. See more »

Goofs

As the Burke character (John Lithgow) speaks to his contact from the "secure" public phone in downtown Philadelphia, the same maroon MGB convertible is seen directly across in the same metered space throughout the conversations that take place on different days. See more »

Quotes

Mixer: Jack, I need your help.
[he presents a couple of girls who all attempt a terrified scream]
Jack Terry: Keep looking.
Mixer: But Jack, what's the matter with you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Music Is an Actor: Pino Donaggio (2015) See more »

User Reviews

 
If you liked F/X...
4 April 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

If you liked F/X, you'll probably like Blow Out and vice versa because both films involve a person who uses their craft to solve a highly corrupt case of murder.

While F/X's Rollie Tyler was a special effects engineer, our hero in Blow Out is a sound technician who must piece together parts of a sound recording (along with some other vital information from other sources along the way) to solve the murder of the gubernatorial candidate, a death which the police have written off as a homocide. Travolta employs Nancy Allen's help, a rather dumb prostitute who was in the car with the victim when their car ran off the bridge, but who is the only survivor and essential key to unlocking the mystery. They are dealing with a very relentless killer who will stop at nothing to make sure the trail of evidence leading to him is eliminated.

It is a typical DePalma movie in that it is done with many Hitchcock elements (they didn't call him the master of suspense for nothing) and also that he works with movies-in-a-movie (see 'Body Double' and 'Dressed to Kill'). It is an enjoyable crime and mystery movie in the days when John Travolta movies were still fun to watch.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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